WASHINGTON, D.C.—People For the American Way released the following statement from PFAW Political Director Lizet Ocampo in response to the death of a 7-year-old girl in Department of Homeland Security’s custody and DHS’s callous statement about the child’s death:
“Words cannot express how horrific this tragedy is. This 7–year-old girl died while in the hands of our government as she sought asylum. DHS’s victim-blaming statement on the death of this child in their custody further illustrates a horrific disregard for human life under Trump’s anti-immigrant policies. Blaming the girl’s family for not presenting themselves at ‘legal points of entry’ only a few days after border officials unleashed tear gas on children and other asylum seekers doing exactly that shows the department’s disregard of the appalling real-world consequences of their policies.
“The fact that DHS kept this incident secret for a week should alarm everyone. Given the numerous allegations of abuse of those in custody under Trump’s family separation policy, and in DHS facilities in general, combined with the teargassing of children and other asylum seekers at the border, it is evident that the department’s inhumane practices are not going to stop on their own and Republican leaders must join Democrats in speaking out against them.
“We are calling on the new Congress to thoroughly investigate this death, including whether the child was given provisions and medical care before her seizures began. And we are calling on voters everywhere to reject Trump and his allies in 2020—because the only way we will end these ugly outcomes will be to vote out the people who put racism, xenophobia, and fear at the heart of their policies.”
PFAW released a digital ad earlier this week connecting the teargassing of asylum seekers at the border with the need to reject Trump and the GOP at the polls in 2020. View the ad here.